Monday, September 08, 2008

Packers win! Packers win!! Packers win!!!

The Packers defeated the ViQueens 24-19 in the season opener at Lambeau Field tonight. Aaron Rodgers threw for one TD pass and scored another on a QB sneak. He completed his last 10 passes in a row, and in the process established himself as the person with the second highest completion percentage in NFL history for a QB in his first NFL start, with 81.8 percent.

Key plays on the Packers side were a 56-yard completion to Greg Jennings to set up the first score; a great one-yard TD pass -- yes, there are such things -- from Rodgers to FB Korey Hall; a 76-yard punt return for a TD by Will Blackmon; a 50-something-yard run by Ryan Grant to set up the final TD; and an interception with under a minute to go by Atari Bigby to preserve the win. Key plays on the 'Queens side...who cares.

Rodgers looked very good. He made all the throws: deep, sideline, over the middle, improvised. He also used his legs to scramble for three first downs.

There were a couple of negatives. Actually quite a few on the penalty front. The Pack had 12 for 118 yards, including a costly lineman downfield penalty that negated a beautiful throw and catch by Rodgers and Donald Driver that would have been a 75-yard TD play. There was also a blocked field goal at the end of the first half, which was the result of a questionable coaching decision. With perhaps 20-some seconds remaining, around the 'Queens redzone, and a timeout available, instead of going once or twice to the endzone, Coach McCarthy opted to run the clock down and try the field goal. OK, folks worry about the possible interception. But what about the possible blocked field goal? Which is exactly what happened. Missed opportunity. Another series of questionable calls by McCarthy came as the clock wound down to about the 2 minute mark. He called three straight handoffs. Punt. Fortunately, Bigby and the defense preserved the victory.

The ViQueens have now lost the last five games against the Packers. Ya gots to like it!

More analysis and commentary in the days ahead. For now, enjoy this victory. And, perhaps even more so, be comfortable knowing the new QB can handle the job just fine.

Life is good when you're a Packers fan!